Wine aficionados know and love Napa and Sonoma but allow us to acquaint you with Central California’s burgeoning wine region, Paso Robles. The historic picturesque town halfway between San Francisco and LA has over 250 wineries and a diverse mix of wine growing regions each with their own microclimate and terroir. Zinfandel might be what Paso Robles does best, but the region is fast becoming a hotspot for its boutique hotels, up-and-coming restaurant scene, beautiful rolling hills and mineral-rich hot springs. Case in point: Paso Robles was ranked sixth on the New York Times’ 52 Places to Go list. Enjoy our curated guide to the perfect three-day weekend in Paso Robles. Cheers.
Day One Itinerary For Paso Robles
Where to Stay in Paso Robles: Check in to Hotel Cheval a vine-draped European style equestrian-themed boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Paso Robles, a short stroll from the town’s historic square. Highlights of the enchanting hotel include the indoor garden courtyard overlooking the rolling hills and vineyards, the old world library and the outdoor wood burning fireplace. Tribe tip: Step back in time with a visit to Hearst Castle, the former home of media magnate William Randolph Hearst. The National Historic Landmark was designed with century old European architecture, most notably ceilings taken from churches and monasteries and painstakingly pieced back together.
Lunch: A short stroll from Hotel Cheval in Downtown City Park is Thomas Hill Organics Bistro and Wine Bar. The local farm-to-table bistro started life as a 10-acre organic farm and is now a full-service restaurant with a focus on locally grown organic produce and grass-fed meats. Pull up a chair on the back patio for lunch and dive into the world of Chef Libry Darusman’s fresh seasonal cuisine. We highly recommend the fresh burrata salad, lentil tacos, and cambozola grilled cheese.
Afternoon Wine Tasting: Next stop take the short 15-minute drive to the local, family-fun Tobin James Cellars, a rustic western-style saloon built from the ground up on the site of an old stagecoach stop. Set on 71 acres of vineyards and oak dotted hills, their award-winning wines come served at an 1860s Brunswick mahogany bar.
Dinner: Make a reservation at BL Brasserie (formally Bistro Laurent) to enjoy incredible French provincial cuisine in an elegant setting. The menu is a seafood lover’s dream with Mussels “Marinières,” Crispy Crab Croquettes, and Roasted Salmon with Braised Lentils as the headliners. If you’re up for a nightcap and dessert wander back to Hotel Cheval for a glass of local or European vino at the French style horseshoe-shaped Pony Club wine bar just (off the hotel lobby), followed by a gourmet s’ mores prepared by the hotel’s resident S’ mores Butler (yes that’s a thing) in front of the fireplace.
Day Two Itinerary For Paso Robles
Breakfast: Start day two right by indulging in Hotel Cheval’s signature complimentary Gourmet Buffet Breakfast featuring buffet featuring house-made granola, muffins and scones, made-to-order omelettes and pancakes, black forest ham and wild-caught salmon.
Afternoon wine tasting: Head to the Westside Adelaida district to visit the historic Halter Ranch Vineyard, a 20-minute drive from the hotel. The Victorian farmhouse-style property, built in the 1870s, occupies a sprawling 900-acre estate with panoramic views of the vineyards. Sample the fruits of their labor in the tasting room, which adjoins a large outdoor patio with a fireplace. The hot tickets here are Bordeaux and Rhône-style wines and the winery’s signature crowd-pleasing CDP (Cotes de Paso – Mourvedre/Grenache/Syrah). Elevate your experience by opting for the ranches seasonal food and wine pairing menu prepared by their executive chef or learn how they produce their award-winning wines in a Behind-the-Bottle Winery Tour.
If you still haven’t got your fill, drop into the neighboring Tablas Creek Vineyard to sample some of the region’s best organic and biodynamic varietal wines. Founded in 1989 and considered a pioneer in California’s Rhone movement, Tablas Creek produces around 15 to 20 wines each year which are best tasted on their outdoor patio.
Dinner: Fish Gaucho is a lively authentic Mexican style cantina that serves seafood-focused Mexican food and craft cocktails. For those that need a break from all that vino, there are over 80 kinds of mezcal and tequila on the menu.
Day Three Itinerary For Paso Robles
After you checkout, take a drive towards the coast to explore the quaint seaside town of Morro Bay. Anchored by a famous ancient volcanic rock which rises 576 feet from the ocean, this small, sleeping fishing village is home to unspoiled beaches, nature trails, and abundant wildlife. Grab lunch at Dutchman’s Seafood House, a waterfront staple beloved for its fresh clam chowder and fish ‘n’ chips.
Beauty + Wellness: No trip to Paso Robles is complete without experiencing the mineral hot springs for which the region is famed. We recommend a trip to River Oaks Hot Springs & Spa where you can soak in the spa’s artesian thermal mineral springs while soaking up the dramatic views of the rolling hills and vineyards. Glass of wine in hand, optional.